Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar has reckoned that Virat Kohli will continue to play with the same energy and enthusiasm despite deciding to step down from Team India’s T20 captaincy and the IPL 2021 season.
“I think one of the things we’ve seen throughout his career, even when he wasn’t the captain and when he played under MS Dhoni quite a bit, the energy and the passion still seemed the same. I can’t imagine it changing just because he’s not the captain and just being one of the guys,” Agarkar said on Star Sports after RCB’s nine-wicket loss to KKR on Monday night.
Kohli recently decided to step down as India’s T20 skipper after the ICC T20 World Cup in Dubai and Oman in October-November and also said he was relinquishing his RCB captaincy after the 2021 IPL season.
Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel said Kolhi must be feeling relieved after relinquishing the RCB captaincy given the workload coupled with prolonged stays in bio-bubbles.
“I think he looked more emotional than happy. I think when you’re playing for one franchise for so many years, you get that emotional connect which was there in RCB. I think RCB actually invested in Virat Kohli’s talent in 2008 and then showed a lot of trust in him as well because if you look at his and RCB’s journey, it has been a rollercoaster one.
“But yeah, he might be relieved because see moving around from one bubble to another can take a load on you and he has spoken about the workload and intensity, which he plays with. I think every practice session, every match session or gym session, he does it with full intensity and that’s something I’m sure he must’ve thought about.”
Recently after announcing to quit the Team India captaincy in the shortest format of the game, Kohli has also decided to step down from his role as captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) after the completion of VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
Kohli, one of the most decorated players of the franchise, will continue to be part of the RCB squad.
Announcing the move, Kohli said in a statement: “It has been a great and an inspiring journey, captaining a talented bunch of players in the RCB squad. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the RCB management, coaches, support staff, players, and the entire RCB family, who have been instrumental in the growth of the franchise over the years. It wasn’t an easy decision but one that has been well thought of and in the best interest of this wonderful franchise.”
“The RCB family remains close to my heart as we continue to strive to achieve excellence. As I have mentioned previously in many occasions, I will only play for RCB until my retirement from the game of cricket,” he added.